Geology is the study of the Earth, the materials of which it is made, the structure of those materials, and the processes acting upon them. It includes the study of organisms that have inhabited our planet. An important part of geology is the study of how Earth’s materials, structures, processes and organisms have changed over time.
Most geologist positions require a master's degree; however, entry-level positions are available for graduates with a bachelor's degree. Upper-level supervisory positions, research assignments and teaching positions at a university require a doctorate degree. Geology programs include the study of mineralogy, petrology, paleontology, stratigraphy and structural geology, as well as physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and engineering. Geologists who offer their services directly to the public may need to be licensed in their state. Requirements vary but generally include a minimum level of education and experience, as well as the passing of an exam.
An average geologist makes at least $84,000 a year